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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.
The Library of the World’s Best Literature. An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

Thomas Lovell Beddoes (1803–1849)


IF there were dreams to sell,

What would you buy?

Some cost a passing-bell;

Some a light sigh,

That shakes from Life’s fresh crown

Only a rose-leaf down.

If there were dreams to sell,

Merry and sad to tell,

And the crier rung the bell,

What would you buy?—

A cottage lone and still,

With bowers nigh,

Shadowy, my woes to still,

Until I die.

Such pearl from Life’s fresh crown

Fain would I shake me down.

Were dreams to have at will,

This would best heal my ill,

This would I buy.—

But there were dreams to sell,

Ill didst thou buy:

Life is a dream, they tell,

Waking to die.—

Dreaming a dream to prize

Is wishing ghosts to rise;

And if I had the spell

To call the buried well,

Which one would I?—

If there are ghosts to raise,

What shall I call

Out of hell’s murky haze,

Heaven’s blue pall?—

Raise my loved long-lost boy

To lead me to his joy.—

There are no ghosts to raise;

Out of death lead no ways:

Vain is the call.—

Know’st thou not ghosts to sue?

No love thou hast.—

Else lie, as I will do,

And breathe thy last,

So out of Life’s fresh crown

Fall like a rose-leaf down.

Thus are the ghosts to woo;

Thus are all dreams made true,

Ever to last!